Sunday, August 17, 2014

That a pipe under the sink sings aloud

So yet again I was in error, in so many ways, but that's another story for another time. It left my wife commiserating with a good friend until 2AM this morning and moments later she went downstairs to retrieve something when she notices a tell-tale hissing sound of a pressurized water break.

This is the culprit - you can see that the supply nozzle (red circle) is no longer connected to the faucet tube (green circle) and so for perhaps as little as 10 minutes or as much as 40, water at city PSI was spewing out of the supply tube under the kitchen sink. You'll recall we had our kitchen redone last year, so this came as a very disappointing surprise.

The melamine cupboard edge immediately at the bottom of the below-sink is lost.

When I was awoken by my wife I rushed to the basement and turned off the water at the main valve as at that moment of panic it was not clear where the water was coming from. It was probably a good idea too, in the end, as this broken connection was for the hot water supply, and if we had tried to close it using the local valve under the sink, we'd likely have scalded ourselves. Following the turning off of the water, we used towels to sop up the 1.5" of water that had collected on the floor of our living room which tapered down from that peak depth to cover a large expanse of the living room and a smaller area of the kitchen. We'd lay the towels, ring them dry into the sink, repeat, until the floor was now just damp, rather that sopping wet.

We awoke our 12yo, G-bot to give us a hand and repeated this procedure in the basement, lay towel, sop up, ring dry in sink, repeat, though we added an extra layer - place ringed out towels into the spin cycle of our laundry machine. Soon after we had awoken G-bot, my wife had called that same friend she had been chatting with who then came over and helped with the toweling. Some minutes later, my wife's parents also came to help. We finished the sopping up by about 5AM.

So now our living room floor has six panels on it that are basically large suction panels. The machine in the far right corner is an industrial dehumidifier that has a tube that leads into the kitchen sink.

From the other angle you can see the suction machine and behind it a blower fan that is blowing into a gap behind the floor board that is evidence of a prior water event that preceded our ownership of the house.

In the kitchen they put this blower fan against the dishwasher in case there was any remnant water left underneath that machine. Incidentally, the 'they' that did this is Sinistre.

In the basement they ripped up all of the multi-coloured square foam padding and placed two blower fans. The water jugs you see in the photo are there as they had been underneath the cabinet on the far left and I had removed them to allow the underneath of the cabinet to dry out.

Walking deeper into the unfinished part of the basement there is the further blower fan from the previous photo and around the corner, the second industrial dehumidifier.

Further still are two more blower fans to circulate the air down there.

The further of the two fans in the previous photo is this one here, blowing into a slit that was cut into the bottom of the wall to allow the air flow to get into the wall. We likely won't bother to repair that slit as there is a shelving unit that goes right up against that wall that would hide it.

In our finished part of the basement they peeled away the top beige carpet to show the grey carpet that was underneath. You can see fairly clearly here where the water got to. They sprayed a biological organic disinfectant on this carpet area to block away any odours that may have been stored in the carpet.

Here you can see how the water had moved up the wall in a capillary action type of movement.

The two blowers in this room are just to blow the humidity that rises out of the carpet out of the room. The blower fan in the back is partially blowing into that room in the back just to help circulate the air out of there for any humidity that is present.

The finished part of our basement had been overrun, for many months, with too much stuff - it had become a dumping grounds for a variety of things. We had to clear away one half of the basement to gain access to the floor, so here is what the other half now looks like.

Back upstairs there was one more spot that they put a blower fan.

This is because they had found moisture on the opposite side of the wall, but there was no easy access point to open the wall on that side, so here you can see the slit that was cut that will eventually be covered by the baseboards.

It is looking like one of the two of us will have to stay home on Monday, and possibly Tuesday, so that the Sinistre people can come back and do moisture measurements to see how everything is going.

In the mean time we will also need to contact a plumber to correct the situation under the sink. We are thinking about contacting the company that did our kitchen last year, just in case there is a guarantee on their work. Either way, one of us will need to be home to receive the plumber to get the work done.

2014 has been a great year for travelling and vacations, but a terrible year for water infiltration into our house.

Oh well, if nothing else, this will be a year to remember.


Zhoen said...

Oh, that's miserable. And loud. I've seen those fans used in apartment buildings where the sprinklers got set off. And heard them.

Nothing quite as panic-making as water gushing out on one. Hope you dry out quickly.

Debstar said...

After getting your kitchen looking so good I can imagine you are very disappointed. And kerching kerching I can hear the money being blown away with those fans. Hope you are insured.

Phil Plasma said...

Yes, they are extremely loud; fortunately my bedroom is far enough away in my house that with a couple of doors closed I can't hear it. We have had one or more of our children sleep in our room with us. In the mean time, during the day, no one is home, so this allows the machines to run pretty much non stop so that they can be effective in doing what they are supposed to do.

Yes, we have insurance and we've also spoken with our contractor who did the kitchen work. We will definitely need a few cabinets replaced and to do that the counter will have to come up, and to raise the counter the tiled backsplash will need to be undone. And then all of that put back in place. Insurance is supposed to pay for this such that the kitchen is returned to exactly the state it was before the spillage, less our 1000$ deductible that we will have to suck up.

Considering how good a job and how happy we were with the contractor, I'm hoping we can get enough money from the insurance company to hire them back to do the work. The adjuster is supposed to arrive tomorrow for a first meeting, so I'll know more after that.